If you want to see Justin Meyn smile, don’t ask him about his individual state championship victory. Talk about the relay wins.
The St. Anthony’s senior was the lone boys swimmer from his school to win an individual state championship at Saturday’s finals at the Nassau Aquatic Center, capturing the 100-yard freestyle in 45.40 seconds. But he sees it differently.
“I really don’t really consider it like that,” said Meyn, of Brightwaters. “Individually, I won it, but it’s everyone around me that has pushed me to that point with all the hard work.”
What matters more to Meyn is being a member of St. Anthony’s 200 and 400 free relay state championship teams. The winning times of 1:24.37 and 3:06.49, respectively, are what he’ll cherish most.
“I like relays a lot more than the individual events because you have a group of guys that are alongside you and ready to race and they get you going,” Meyn said. “For those two relays for us to win in the times we went, it’s something special that I’ll always remember.”
St. Anthony’s 200 free relay, comprised of Mark Owens, Christopher Stange, William Swartwout and Meyn, won the school’s first relay. Meyn, Stange, Dylan Champagne and Swartwout teamed to win the 400 free relay, the meet’s final event to cap off a celebratory day for the Friars.
“That was an awesome way to end it,” said Champagne, of Mount Sinai. “For the seniors, we really wanted to go out on a high note, end this meet with an exclamation point. And I think we went out there and swam our hearts out and it’s just a great way to end your career on varsity.”
St. Anthony’s also finished with the most team points, 277, to beat Fordham Prep (213) for the team championship. After posting the most points at last season’s state championship, the Friars had been on a quest for top team scores again.
“I think swimming is called an individual sport, but not at meets like this,” said coach Dan McBride. “Everybody swims as a team and you’re getting up there to swim with your teammates -- for your teammates -- guys just become electric and they swim like crazy.”
“A common misconception is swimming is an individual sport,” said Ian Fitzpatrick, of Huntington, who placed fifth in the 200 individual medley. “But that’s when you really get to show that it’s a team sport and we’re doing it as a Friar, and a school and it’s all about points.”